There are many milestones in life for a woman—first date, engagement and marriage, becoming a mother, sending our little ones off to school. But nothing compares to the “perfect storm” that brews at fifty years of age. Most women (at 50) experience “empty nest,” while facing peri-menopause.
No matter how well prepared you think you are, some things hit you like a tornado. Through the whirlwind, you often spin out of control with no real direction.
Not long ago, that’s what happened to me. But I faced that storm with a fierce determination that I would not let “aging” become my downfall. Today, I enjoy the best years of my life with the exhilaration of what I call my “road trip in a red convertible.”
As you plan your own journey in midlife and beyond, make it a road trip in the sports car of your dreams. Envision yourself on a cross-country adventure, convertible top down, wind blowing your hair, with limitless boundaries for your destination. Think about these steps as you make your plans.
- At the crossroads as you are faced with change, give yourself permission to move forward. It is time to take care of yourself, to resurrect your old dreams or create new ones. Be intentional to make this the best time of your life; get ready for your adventure.
- Plan and pack well. Prepare yourself spiritually, financially and emotionally by engaging in extreme self-care. You must be healthy to complete the trip. Ask God to calm your fears and dispel your worries, and then take that first big step toward an exciting journey. Be courageous, fearless and willing to change, then release the emergency brake and get ready to go!
- Define your dream destination. Embrace the hopes, dreams and goals you have for yourself and put them in to a “dream destination.” Where do you want to be next year, or in five years? What do you want your legacy to be? Don’t limit yourself by the size of your dreams—Dream BIG! Allow yourself to grow into the amazing woman God has created you to be. He desires greatness for and from you.
- Enjoy the scenery. Your journey is unique, with your own timing and purpose. Don’t rush it. Explore the side roads, rest often, and be open to change. Know that the road will sometimes be bumpy and curvy, but it will also be exhilarating and fun. Remember, God will never give you anything that He will not equip you to handle, so look at challenges as times of growth.
- Don’t travel alone. You must ask for help along the way. Who inspires you, who do you admire? Seek guidance from a coach, mentor, friend, and others who have gone before you and can give you wise advice. Find people who can hold you accountable, and who will cheer you on when you are faced with challenges. Most of all, keep God at your side as your navigator, especially since He already has the end result planned out.
- Celebrate your arrival! Celebrate your successes, your challenges and all your accomplishments. Praise God for leading you to this place, and for the rewards that He has led you to. Be proud of yourself—it is not selfish or haughty to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Then, it’s time to reassess. Is this your final destination, or just a stopping point? Are there new places to be explored, new destinations to be reached? If you are feeling energized by the journey, then maybe a new road trip is in store.
Now, at 55, I have never had more passion and clarity in my life. The more I focus on my purpose, “To equip and inspire women to flourish, inside and out,” the more things fall in to place perfectly and the greater my dreams become. I am so excited about the journey, and am looking forward to reaching many “dream destinations.”
Are you planning? Your road trip awaits!
Susan Tolles is the founder of Flourish Over 50® and Powerful Me™, inspiring and equipping women around the world to live healthy, balanced, soul-driven lives as they flourish in midlife. As a Certified Dream Coach®, website creator, speaker and writer, Susan helps women celebrate and enrich their true inner and outer beauty as they age with grace and vitality.
4 thoughts on “Road Trip in a Red Convertible”
Great article, Susan! I enjoyed it…you have combined practical tips along with a healthy dose of encouragement and inspiration! Thank you!
Thank you, Kathleen! I have had such a wonderful journey over the past two years, and anxiously await my next destination. It is so important for us to enjoy the ride, to soak in all God has for us along the way without rushing, just like those trips we took when we were younger and people actually DROVE on their vacations! God is the ultimate Navigator, and with Him by my side, there’s no telling what exciting excursion awaits!
I love your article! Like you I am more focused at 54 years old than I ever have been! God is good.
Yes, God is truly good Cathey! The more I am in tune with where He wants me to go, the more amazed I am at what He has in store for me. This will be quite a journey over the next several years! I certainly have no plans to slow down. 🙂